The key is an accurate and current on-farm record-keeping system.
A record-keeping system can vary from computer databases or spreadsheets to special printed herd forms, to DHIA calf sheets to a simple pocket notebook. Memory or penciled notes should not be trusted.
A practical system quickly provides up-to-date basic information and is kept permanently in a safe place. A good system will include identification of dams, identification of service sires, service dates, birth dates of the calves and their permanent identification (either tattoo or Association-approved eartags). You should also have a binder in which to keep the registration certificates.
There are two approved methods of permanent identification (Rule II, Sec. 2, Rules for the Registration and Transfer of Jersey Cattle). These are tattoo in the ear, and Association-approved tamperproof eartags.
For Animals Identified by Tattoos
All calves identified by tattoos must be tattooed before leaving individual pens or ties:
One or both ears may be used.
No two animals of the same sex in the same herd may have the same tattoo.
Tattoos must include at least one letter and one number. The letters I, O, Q and V may be used only if accompanied by an additional letter in the same ear, or approved by the Executive Secretary.
Tattoos may not exceed a total of seven letters and numbers in each ear.
It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain a valid and legible tattoo in the ear of each animal owned. When a tattoo becomes faded, the owner must re-tattoo the animal in the same ear with the same tattoo.
For Animals Identified by Eartags
Prior to leaving individual pens or ties, all calves identified by eartags must be identified in both ears with Allflex Tamperproof™ Ear Tags approved by the Association’s Board of Directors. These tags will include (1) an American ID number; (2) the state of origin; (3) and herd management number.
No two animals in the same herd of the same sex may have the same herd management number. It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain eartags in both ears of each animal owned, and when a tag is lost, the owner must contact the Association and order a replacement tag.
If you use the tattoo method, the Voluntary Tattoo Program is a simple procedure that will encourage accuracy of record keeping. These are the steps:
Select any letter (except I, O, Q, or V). Number calves consecutively from 1 to 999, the number preceded by the letter you have selected. For example, if you select M as your letter, the tattoos will read M1, M2, M3, and so on.
Put the same tattoo in both ears. In case the tattoo should fade in one ear, the animal can still be positively identified from the tattoo in the other ear.
After you have tattooed number 999, select a new letter and start over, beginning with 1.
If a tattoo or eartag is incorrectly recorded on an animal’s registration certificate, a correction form should be completed and submitted with the certificate to the AJCA.
No two animals of the same sex in the same herd may have the same tattoo or eartag herd management number:
If you buy an animal that has the same tattoo as another animal in your herd, you must add an additional letter or number in the ear of one and report this as a tattoo correction to the AJCA.
When an animal identified by eartag enters the herd with a duplicate herd management number, the owner must contact the Association and order replacement tags for one of the animals. The replacement tags will retain the animal’s prior American ID number, but must have a herd management number that is unique to the new herd.
The next step in registering a Jersey is to file an application for registration. The basic information you will need (from your accurate record keeping system) is:
Permanent identification of the calf.
Birth date of the calf.
Name and registration number of the sire.
Name and registration number of the dam.
Service date, if the calf is the result of artificial insemination.
Applications for registration may be printed from this website. You can also use AJCA's online registration system, InfoJersey.com, to register your calves. A reduced rate applies to registrations submitted through InfoJersey.
Be sure to keep these items in mind:
Information must be typed or written legibly in ink or indelible pencil.
Incomplete applications or errors delay processing.
Multiple application forms can be printed from this website. They allow up to 19 females in the same ownership to be registered from a simple application.
Names are limited to a total of 27 letters, spaces, and characters. This includes all prefixes (JX, UR) and/or suffixes (-ET, -P, -PP, etc.) that may be required in the animal's name by AJCA's registration rules. Apostrophes (‘) cannot be accepted.
This suggested naming system makes the procedure simple and gives you room to be creative.
The first name is the farm’s name or your reserved prefix name. The second is the sire’s “common” name. The third is the cow family or barn name, which can start with the same letter as the dam’s name. Or, you can use a bird family, a flower family, the cow’s number or anything else you desire. The tattoo can also be used as the third name.
All names must be one-of-a-kind, so please indicate a second choice name.
Prefix names serve as a trademark for animals of your own breeding and are a valuable asset in advertising. Prefix names not in use may be reserved for your exclusive use. Prefix names are free to new members; a nominal fee is charged to non-members.
Applications for the registration of animals resulting from A.I. may be accompanied by a breeding receipt, or the owner must certify to the accuracy of service information, accepting full responsibility for damages resulting from inaccurate breeding information.
Bulls from whom semen is frozen must be listed with the AJCA and be parentage verified with their living non-parentage verified parents before progeny resulting from A.I. may be registered. Refer to Artificial Insemination Requirements for Jerseys, or contact the AJCA for further information.
Twin births must be identified. There are two boxes on the application. Check the box indicating whether the animal is a twin with a bull or a twin with a heifer. Females born twin with a male cannot be registered until proven to be fertile.
Naturally polled Jerseys are also identified. If the calf doesn’t grow horns, check the appropriate box. In order for a calf to be registered as polled, at least one of its parents must be registered as polled.
Jerseys resulting from embryo transfer (ET) must be identified with the suffix, ET. All donor dams and service sires are required to be parentage verified with the AJCA. Random blood typing, at the owner's expense, is required for one out of every 10 female ET calves. Contact the AJCA for current requirements and details.
If mixed semen is used, all resulting calves must be parentage verified at the owner's expense before they can be registered. Breeders wishing to use semen pooled from two or more sires when superovulating donor dams MUST contact the Herd Services Department before breeding for approval of sire combinations which will result in progeny distinguishable as to sire.
The breeder of a calf is the owner of the dam when she was bred. The first owner of a calf is the owner of the dam when the calf was born.
Each application must be signed by the first owner. When the first owner is a farm or partnership, the application must be countersigned by a member of the firm or an authorized agent.
When the parentage of a calf is in doubt, the identity of the sire and/or dam can many times be determined by DNA parentage qualification. The Herd Services Department can furnish complete details.
The Generation Count recording system allows owners to record (a) animals that exhibit the characteristics of Jersey cattle but lack complete documentation of parentage, and (b) animals that have one known and AJCA-recorded Jersey parent and a parent of another breed.
Jerseys registered in Canada should be recorded with the American Jersey Cattle Association when imported to the United States. The fee is the same as for U.S. transfers. The Canadian export duplicate is required to process the application.
When registration certificates are returned to you after processing, please check carefully to be sure all names, dates, and numbers are correct. If an error has been made, the certificate will be corrected at no charge if returned within 60 days.
If a registration certificate is lost or destroyed, a duplicate can be obtained for a nominal fee.
Any time a Registered Jersey or a frozen Jersey embryo is sold or given to another person, the change of ownership must be promptly recorded with the AJCA. The application for transfer insures that the progeny of the animal may be registered.
The transfer application for a registered animal is found on the back of the registration certificate. Download paper transfer applications from this site. Animals may also be transferred by using infoJersey, the AJCA's Internet service system.
If the animal is to be registered and transferred at the same time, separate applications are available so that the filing can be done simultaneously. These two tasks can also be done during one session on infoJersey.
It is the seller’s responsibility to fill out, sign, and send in the transfer with the correct fee. File immediately after the sale. The transfer fee increases if the transfer is filed after 60 days of sale date.
The buyer’s full name, address, and date of sale must be listed. Be sure you use the correct name for ownership. The easiest way to do this is to check with the new owner for the AJCA Customer Number to be used for ownership.
When females are transferred, the correct service information (service sire and service date) must be reported. If the animal was pasture bred, you must indicate the first and last dates of exposure to the bull listed as service sire. If the animal is not bred, write “NOT SERVED” on the transfer.
A special transfer fee applies when an animal is transferred (1) to another member of the immediate family, or (2) to or from a partnership, provided all living animals in that ownership are transferred at the same time.
Upon the death of a breeder, all of his/her Registered Jerseys become the property of his/her estate. A special fee applies when ownership is transferred from the estate to the heirs, provided all transfers are made at one time and signed by the administrator of the estate.
For $100, you can become a lifetime member of the American Jersey Cattle Association, the oldest dairy breed recording organization in the United States.
You, or your partnership or corporation, will save money on every calf, male or female, that is registered.
As a member, you are entitled to vote in all AJCA presidential and director elections. Also, you are entitled to vote on any matters that come before the AJCA Annual Meeting.
Print a membership application to submit by mail, or apply online.